04 Mar A tale of two viruses – do you feel anxious?
If you’ve been reading my blog or listening to the podcast series, then you’ll know how much I like to share stories to illustrate important points and self-development techniques. This week I have a story to share that is 100 percent true and the learnings to be made are still very real and will always be valid.
As I share the experience, I want you to imagine this happening to you and what you would do.
“Life is 10 percent what happens to us and 90 percent how we react to it.” Dennis P. Kimbro
Your dream holiday is on the horizon
OK, you may not be old enough to book a holiday on your own but I bet you’ve still dreamed of a destination where you would love to visit, so go with me on this J
You have booked a long weekend away for quality time to relax, enjoy the sunshine and take in a spot of history. You’ve been excited about the prospect of this holiday for ages and can’t wait to go exploring because you’ve spent many hours glued to the computer researching where to go and what to see on your trip and it’s going to be a holiday of a lifetime. It’s a solo trip, by choice, and you are psyched to have the most amazing time.
A strange infection invades a faraway land
Several weeks before your holiday is due, it hits the news headlines that a strange new illness has taken hold in a distant land. The flu–like illness has infected many people and unfortunately results in many untimely deaths, but it is confined to the other side of the world, so it won’t upset any of your plans.
Life progresses as normal and a couple of weeks later reports start to surface that seem to indicate a second virus – one that is not a new disease, but more on that later …
As you make the final preparations for your trip the flu-like virus is spreading to other lands. It’s all over the news and the media is having a field day, reporting on its developments constantly. The news is very negative and people are getting worried – even though the virus is still far away.
The second virus is now more powerful than the original. It’s spreading more quickly than the first and people all around you are behaving irrationally.
Will you still go on your dream holiday? Are you willing to travel despite the continual news about a flu-like virus and a second virus extending?
“Pessimism leads to weakness, optimism to power.” William James
Creeping closer to home
One week before you travel, several cases of the original virus have been identified in the northern part of the country you will be visiting – but it’s miles away from your destination so there shouldn’t be anything to worry about.
There are also a few infections of the virus in your country but non reported locally and you are young, healthy and your travel agent hasn’t called to cancel your trip.
You notice that everybody seems to be talking about the flu-like virus and local supermarkets are being ravaged. People are frightened, panic-buying and stockpiling toilet rolls and pasta!
Hand sanitiser and face masks are virtually unobtainable because the advice to use them, alongside washing your hands for 20 seconds at every possible moment, is being distributed by the government and the media. Is this the second virus getting closer to home?
Friends and family are asking if you are still going on holiday and you are receiving some rather opinionated comments about what you should do. Are you still excited or are doubts starting to creep in and you feel anxious?
Too close to home?
Two days before you are due to travel, the first patient with the flu-like virus is admitted to your local hospital. The patient isn’t a local resident but the hospital is local. People are scared and rumours are rife.
You are staring to notice businesses making money from the spread of the second virus by hiking prices and using shock tactics in their marketing – fuelling the fire of people’s fear and anxiety. Many events are being cancelled, hugs and shaking hands are no longer allowed and established businesses are suffering.
Things are getting out of control and cases are growing in the country you are soon to fly to. Are you still packed and ready to go?
2:30am – an eerie hour
You are up and ready. By habit you check your email (who does that at 2:30am?) to discover that the flight you had booked to fly you back home has been cancelled. But you can still get there! What do you do? Do you carry on as normal and hope that you will be able to reschedule the flight at the airport or do you cancel everything?
If you cancel your flight there, and the hotel, there will be no compensation because you are the one cancelling and not the travel company. But, if you go, will the helpdesk be open at the airport in the early hours of the morning? Will you be able to call the travel company and speak to someone? Has the second virus reached you and forced you to change your mind?
What do you do? Do you feel anxious?